Elysium Fire is a solid, interesting mystery with Reynold’s typical fantastic worldbuilding and strong characters. However, several issues made this book a bit of a disappointment for me.
Different characters take turns being the main protagonist, which diluted the impact of the story. There’s also a cool but slightly baffling character who is also a pig. He’s described as a hyperpig but his appearance and why hyperpigs exist is never adequately explained. There are also several characters with mental abilities so powerful that they appear magical, but Reynolds doesn’t provide a technical explanation as to how these powers work, so they were harder for me to accept.
An otherwise solid ending was marred with some inexplicable character choices.
Elysium Fire takes place in Reynold’s Revelation Space universe and is a sequel to The Prefect, also published as Aurora Rising (which I have not read).
Recommendation: If you only have a few unread books lying around because you just grabbed whatever you could from the library as it was about to go into pandemic lockdown, and Elysium Fire is one of them, then go ahead and read it. Otherwise, you might want to try something else.
One thought on “Review: Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds”
I’d read The Prefect (my preferred title 🙂 ) which is a far better book in my opinion. I found this enjoyable, but not great. I do hope that Reynolds returns to the Inspector Dreyfus mysteries.